Believe it or not, debate season isn’t QUITE over yet. While Mitt Romney and Barack Obama were entering the campaign home stretch, four third-party candidates met Tuesday night in Chicago for a debate (aired by RT America and Al Jazeera English) that was moderated by the always-moderate Larry King. Contestants — er, candidates — included former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson (Libertarian), Dr. Jill Stein (Green Party), former Virginia congressman Virgil Goode (Constitution Party) and former Salt Lake City mayor Rocky Anderson (Justice Party).
In a supreme feat of irony, even this debate couldn’t avoid candidates kvetching about their non-inclusion.
Even without Roseanne, things got off to a strong start. Anderson seemed practiced in debate jiu-jitsu and knew how to change the subject. He blasted both Romney and Obama over military spending and oil — even though neither subject was part of the question.
Johnson scored the first zinger.
At this point, the moderators realized that they forgot to allow opening statements and decided to go back for a do-over. This confused everyone, including the candidates.
Jill Stein got the first not-opening statement.
Anderson got another shot to show off his oratory skills:
Then came Goode — who got little applause for his right-of-right Constitution Party pitch.
While the audience may not have been fond of him, Twitter was. Goode’s thick Virginia drawl lit a tweetstorm that seemed to drive more traffic than any issue mentioned.
Johnson had the crowd on his side and was beating the drums on his main issues.
Goode won the First to Get Booed award.
Johnson fired back by claiming that marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol — based on personal experience with both.
Nobody on stage was pro-drone. In fact, the isolationism was so strong among all of them that Moderator King was displeased.
All four also came out against the National Defense Authorization Act.
On college tuition, however, there was no such agreement.
The evening finished off with a question about how each would amend the constitution.
And with that, the madness mercifully came to an end. Who won? Well, Anderson and Johnson may have been the best speakers — but Goode was the one trending on Twitter.
The secret to being a winning third-party candidate: Have a Goode accent.
And there may be another chance to hear it!
Vote now, y’all!